Success story of Abhinav who got recommended in last Attempt

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28-April 2019

My name is Abhinav Saini. Recently I got recommended from 32 SSB kapurthala (CDS 2 2018 OTA). Currently I am working in Nestle India and I did my B.Tech from NIT Jalandhar (2017 batch). This was my third attempt for CDS.

In my first SSB (Feb 2018) at Allahabad I went as a fresher. My performance was decent in all tests and was expecting my name in the recommended list but I was conferenced out. I was really disappointed and disheartened. I decided to put all my efforts in next attempt and did thorough micro analysis of my performance and came to know about the mistakes that I made especially in Psych test. By regular practice I improved a lot and I was pretty much confident of getting through in next attempt.

Then in Second attempt (Nov 2018) at Allahabad, it was time to show improved version of myself but I was screened out on first day itself. I was kind of shattered and couldn’t figure out what just happened. I wanted to give up at that point of time and it took considerable time to move. Somehow I gathered my my strength and started preparing again.


3rd attempt at Kapurthala (April 2019).

Day 1 Screening

OIR was good. I attempted all the questions. In PPDT picture shown was blurred. Although it is preferred not to make story around armed forces in PPDT, I made a story about young army officer in Kerela floods. Almost everyone else in group made story about sports. In discussion I was calm and composed (learning from earlier mistake),went with the common story of group about sports and contributed 1-2 points in common story. 26 out of 47 were screened in including me.


Day2- Psych Tests and Personal interview

Pysch test were game changer. I made practical, simple and short stories. Attempted all the words in WAT with little touch of current affairs in sentences. I attempted 55 STRs. I really felt confident after psych tests and I could feel the difference in responses from my 1st attempt.

On same day my interview was scheduled. I was Calm but attentive. IO asked me range of GK and current affairs questions like brexit, rohingya, ports, seas, straits, directions etc. I answered all of them confidently. Then rapid fire started. I was bit cautious about it since in last attempt I had difficulties in remembering the sequence. This time I answered all of them in proper sequence. Interview went really well.


Day3- GTO 1

Group discussion 1&2- J&K/Violence against women was topic. Our group was quite good and everyone gave there points. I pitched in quite late but indirectly led the group by aligning group members towards a particular direction.


Group Planning Exercise- I was bit nervous about it since in last ssb I was not able to perform well, but this time I was prepared. I gave precise calculation of time and distances and provided practical assumptions. Hence towards the end my group nominated me to narrate common solution and I did that confidently.

At this point of time my confidence was damn high and I thought I am getting closer to the uniform. But then something happened which changed everything. While going for PGT I twisted by ankle badly on a brick lying on ground. I just lied there in pain as I could not stand. Medical team came, I was not even able to remove my shoe as it swelled up and it was paining like hell. GTO came and asked medical team if can participate in tasks. He denied and told him that we need to go to MI room and maybe Military hospital later. GTO told me to go with Nursing assistant. I refused politely. He tried to convince me that there are other attempts as well. I refused politely again and requested him to give me 10 mins. He said “okay.. I will come exactly after 5 mins.. if I don’t see you standing in your group..you need to go with medical team”. I Just gathered all my strength as I could not let things go so easily this time. GTO came after 5 mins and I don’t know how but I stood up and with support I joined my group.


PGT & FGT- I only pitched in 1-2 points where group was stuck as I was in pain but I was able to help group in crossing 3rd obstacle.


Snake Race- This was really tough for me. I told GTO that I will participate as my group members told me that they want to participate in race with me even though I was liablity to the group. They literally lifted me to the 10 ft wall and never left me behind. Whole group went slow because of me. I was feeling bad and pathetic. I somehow finished my race and at end tears rolled down my eyes as I knew now there is no chance of getting recommended and in 30 mins everything just changed. I was shattered and mentally gave up all the hopes.


Day 4- Lecturette was quite good. Then came individual obstacles. Previous night I discussed with medical team which IO can I attempt. We decided that I will attempt Burma bridge and tiger leap only as other obstacles will put great strain on ankle. I reached IO ground with mindset of just participating. I started with Burma bridge and very slowly completed it and then tiger leap. I knew my 3 mins were over but GTO didn’t blow whistle. So I took calculated risks and started doing other IO slowly and I was on 6th then I stretched my ankle again on double barrel and then GTO blew whistle (he also wanted to know uptill where can I push).

All tasks were over and I knew I will not make it this time started thinking about preparing for CAPFs or UPSC that night and packed my bags.

Day 5 (Result day-Conference)- lasted for 2 min and I was asked about food and stay. I replied with smile and left.

Result- A para officer came to announce result and I was thinking that if everything went planned then I would have received recommended chest no. from him but I just tried to let things go and move on. He said only 2 of you are recommended and I thought that this batch was quite nice and only 2!. I was expecting atleast 4.

And suddenly he said chest No. 17… everyone looked at me. I was shocked. I couldn’t speak anything and realized I need to say my name and roll no. I shouted loudly with a feeling of triumph. So special was the feeling that I was smiling awkwardly all the time. Finally I made it.


SSBTest has literally supported me through this journey. Specially in psychological test, Col Pradeep walia sir check each and every word and sentence. I could feel the improvement in Pysch Test. Although responses cannot be coached but there is a proper mindset to answer and quality can always be improved. I owe my Psych Test improvement to Pradeep sir. Also, rapid fire practice in mock interview helped considerably and I was more confident this time. 

Get prepared before going for SSB.